This morning we woke up somewhere near Harrisburg and had juice and coffee and got on the road. While my husband drove I began reading him Fannie Flagg’s book, “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven.” I had really enjoyed “Friend Green Tomatoes” and “Welcome to the World, Baby Girl,” having read parts of them to my husband out of sheer delight. I realized that with all of the driving, we might not find music we liked and I didn’t really want to invest in books on CD or carry CDs with us. As it is, we are weighted down with clothing and equipment. So this seems like a nice solution to “what are we going to do with all that time in the car.”
The weather was very spotty. We drove between sunny spots and absolute deluges. On at least three occasions the rainfall was so heavy we could barely see in front of us, and then a few miles later, there was the sun again.
We finally arrived in at place outside of Sandusky, Ohio. The motel is nice and has free wireless. I have even been able to download some of the daf yomi lessons that still weren’t available when we left Israel.
While my husband was studying, I drove to a shopping center and entered a Walmart-type store. I bought some salad vegetables for dinner as well as some sodas (that are exhorbitant on the road) and some other items we needed. As I reached the checkout counter, I heard the clerk, a young man with long wavy dark hair highlighted in red, telling the person in front of my how frightened he had been. When I started to check out, I asked him what had happened to make him frightened. He told me his story:
About a week ago, at about midnight, he was working in the store (which is open 24 hours.) A man walked over to him at the checkout counter carrying an AK47. The man asked him if they had any shells for the AK47 and did they do background checks. The clerk responded, “Are you $*ing kidding?” The man told him he was not. He just wanted to know if they had shells for his weapon and if they did background checks. The clerk called his supervisor. He said that there was a man with an AK47 asking those questions. His supervisor asked him if he was kidding. He said, “No.” The supervisor must have had the ability to see the clerk because she told him to stop looking around. It was not wise to get the customer upset. She told him to tell the customer that they were checking. In a short while, the supervisor called him back and told him to tell the man they were still checking, but in the meantime, he needed to see some ID. She told the clerk to try to memorize as much as he could of the ID. Finally she called back and told him to tell the customer that they couldn’t do it, but that another store (which he named) could. As the man left the store, the clerk saw his supervisor nod to someone and suddenly the police swooped in and tackled the customer.
The poor clerk was still upset. How could I tell him what his story awakened in me? Should I tell him that where I live many times people with weapons succeeded in hurting innocents? Should I tell him about our heroes who have sacrificed their lives when homicidal people attempted to hurt others? Or should I tell him about the time I walked into a Jerusalem supermarket with my son and they were very careful to search my purse but thought nothing of allowing my son in with his M16?
I acknowledged his feelings and aside from that, I said nothing.
Tomorrow, it’s on the road again.